Google ‘Parks’ Domains by Mistake, Causes Major Ranking Flux


Matt Cutts clarifies the error that has caused major fluctuations in Google rankings this week.

In the light of recent search quality efforts an innocent glitch at Google has cause much disruption and concern among webmaster and the SEO community. As usual most quickly jumped to conclusion that their website may be “penalised” for bad links and some thought they were a victim of “link attack” by competitors. As usual the solution is simpler than that, and we learn that the anti-spam action was not the cause of the major ranking fluctuation this week. Well, not directly anyway.

Matt Cutts

What Happened?

quote open…our classifier for parked domains was reading from a couple files which mistakenly were empty. As a result, we classified some sites as parked&#quote close8230;, Matt Cutts

Google treats parked domains in a very different way to what they consider to be active domains. Pages with layout, content and link characteristics of parked domains are easily identified and classified as such. Google does this in order to balance out the link graph connections and remove any unfair linking caused by place-holder domains. Parked domains typically host ads or commercial links with very little value to users and are certainly not of editorial nature. What caused the error at Google was that the parked domain classifier has been reading from a couple of wrong (blank) files and some active websites were mistakenly classified as ‘parked’.

Is it Fixed?

Yes, the issue has now been corrected and rankings should appear as per usual. If you notice any further fluctuation this is likely do to one of the other 200 or so factors Google uses to rank results in its index. Any fluctuations prior to this week are likely not caused by this glitch says Cutts.


Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry.

More Posts - Website

Copy the code below to your web site.

One Response to “Google ‘Parks’ Domains by Mistake, Causes Major Ranking Flux”

  1. Google off its ‘Parks’ Domains affect the ranking of many sites, making more keywords to relegation

    • dao tao seo

National Sales Number: 1300 123 736 - International Callers: +61 7 3188 9200

© 2015 DEJAN SEO PTY LTD - ABN:77151340420 - ACN:151340420 - Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy by TRUSTe Google Partner